Celebrating With Christmas Traditions

Celebrating With Christmas Traditions

Christmas is definitely a wonderful time of the year.   Christmas for me includes so many special traditions.

I love to sing along to Christmas music as I decorate my home in celebration of that anticipated day.  I love to have lots of lights and sparkle.  My family teases me because no one can come to my house and leave without getting a bit of glitter on them.

It is also a time for family and friends to connect and celebrate at special dinners, parties, and get togethers.  The calendar seems to fill up quick with these but that is OK because it is this part that multiplies joy.

I also have the tradition of presents.  I absolutely love to give and receive presents.  It isn't about how much those presents cost or whether it is the latest greatest whatever.  It is about finding that special something that shows the receiver that you considered them.

I also thoroughly enjoy wrapping those gifts.  I like to make those gifts look really pretty under my Christmas tree.  Many people would consider wrapping gifts a drudgery but not me.   My tradition is to make a big pile of gifts to wrap on one side of me and all my Christmas wrapping materials on the other side.  I sit on my couch and pull my big round coffee table closer so that I can wrap in comfort.  Then I spend the time watching Christmas movies while wrapping the evening away.

This year, I think I will consider wrapping presents on a Sunday because Pure Flix is offering a free Christmas movie every Sunday the rest of December.  You can sign up for 1 Free movie every Sunday through December 24th and no credit card information is needed.  How great is that?  You can signup for the free movie every Sunday at the Pure Flix Signup Page. This is a great network that offers good wholesome, family-friendly movies that do not offend Christian values not to mention they also offer some great free homeschool resources in addition to their great lineup of pure clean movies.

As you go through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, remember to take a little time to savor and enjoy your traditions.

Want more?  Read more about Christmas

You can find some great Christmas Recipes  on Texasdaisey Creations.

***There was no exchange of goods, services, or money for the links on this post***

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Tips For Making Your Home Beautiful on a Budget

Learn my tips for making your home beautiful on a budget.
Do you want to learn how to make your home beautiful on a budget? Are you feeling the need for an update in your home or maybe even a complete overhaul but then you see the size of your budget compared to the list of needs and then feel overwhelmed?  I have been there. I know those feelings of frustration, overwhelm, helplessness, and even depression that can come at times like this.  I also know how the condition of a woman's home can make such a difference in how she feels and acts.  It isn't that it needs to be fancy or large.  It just needs to feel good, be pretty and be comfortable.  That is possible. In the next few weeks, I will share some of my best tips for making your home beautiful on a budget.
Believe it or not, the atmosphere is the first most important thing about making your home feel and look good.  Decorating is important to me, colors, paint, textures, furniture, and accessories are great but one can spend millions of dollars on decorations and still have a home that doesn't feel like a home.  Atmosphere is what makes a difference.  The first thing I did after we purchased our little lakehouse is to change the atmosphere.

 There are many who would love to say that atmosphere doesn't make a difference or that it will come later when it is beautiful but think about it.  When you have been out shopping and suddenly you step into a store that makes you sigh with joy and wonder.  That place just feels good the minute you step into it.  You look around and feel the beauty as well as see it.  If you pay close attention you will realize that it isn't just how it is decorated because you will realize there are many things there that have been in so many other places but they didn't feel like this.  You will realize it is arranged beautifully but the same is true in so many other places.  If you will look deeper you will realize it is a spiritual difference in the atmosphere.

Have I scared you yet?  Get ready because it is going to get deeper before I am done.  This is the time to bail before I go on talking about spiritual things that might make you feel uncomfortable.  By the way, I am not going to give you breadcrumb scriptures to lead the way.  I believe it is time for Christians who are Kingdom minded and want to be mature sons to stop being fed like a baby with milk and grow up.  We need to begin to fully experience the scriptures so lovingly written for us and learn how to look deeper with the help of Holy Spirit rather than a teacher or preacher to bottle feed it to us.  It is time we immerse ourselves in His scripture, learn His ways, and begin our Kingdom journey with Him. For those of you still reading, this is your last chance, here we go...

The spiritual atmosphere of a place affects everyone who comes into that place whether they realize it or not.  There are many things that affect and cause a spiritual atmosphere.  I am going to start with the basics here.  You are welcome to contact me if you are interested in or need help on anything deeper or even weirder on this topic, nothing surprises me too much on this topic.  

When we first purchased our lakehouse it came with spiritual baggage.  Every place on earth comes with spiritual baggage.  Now that baggage can be good, bad, evil, wonderful and everything you can think of.  That happens because of the people who were there before and those who are there now.   Everything that  has occurred in that place has also affected it. You can check out The Bible to verify this.  Just google "The land is defiled in scriptures"  and you will see the negative ways we affect it.  Everything we do affects creation. We choose whether it is heavenly or hellish.  We are the gates of Heaven and/or hell.  What gate are you choosing to open when you step into a place?

A very simple thing you can do to change an atmosphere is step into it.  Have you ever noticed at a gathering when one person stepped in the whole atmosphere changed for the better or worse?  Well you just saw spiritual dynamics at work.  How you are feeling and thinking affects the atmosphere when you step into it.  Your relationship with God (YHVH ) affects the atmosphere. How is the atmosphere changing when you step in?  Is it getting better or is it going the other way?  You choose.  If you want your home to become a haven of beauty, love, refreshing, peace or anything then you can make the difference by deciding in your heart to release that into your home the moment you step in. 

How do I release those good and Heavenly things?  Here it is...I first step into His kingdom (it is at hand, close by)  I close my eyes (not necessary but helps one focus when first learning) When I began this I saw only darkness when I closed my eyes, now I see more.  That darkness is a veil in the temple of our body.  When Jesus died, that veil was torn so that we could step through into the Holy place (hidden place, prayer closet).  I part that veil and step through that veil by faith. (You can even take a physical step forward to help you have a physical experience that will give you a pattern for how the spiritual experience will feel.

After I step through, I inhale and pray, "Father I receive everything you have for me today in this place by faith."  Next, I back out (never turn your back on a King) and I exhale as I declare, "I release everything you gave me Father into this atmosphere to manifest as you desire."  Try it!  You will see what I mean if you truly do it with faith and a heart of expectation, knowing He will not give you a serpent or stone (anything that will harm you or weigh you down) when you ask.  If you do this every day for just 5 minutes, You will begin to see and feel a definite difference in your home.

Now, go a bit deeper when you step in.  "Father, I come into the place of Your presence by faith and I ask for peace, love, laughter, joy, beauty, etc. (whatever traits you desire for your home) to be released for my home."   Inhale and then back out and exhale and declare, "Father, I release all those things (I list them out sometimes) into this place and atmosphere to manifest without delay as You have ordained."  

Practice "going in and coming out" in this way until my next post on making your home beautiful on a budget and I would love it if you would leave a comment sharing what has happened as a result.  When we share testimony it raises the faith of all who hear it and increases the results.  My testimony on this is that the very things I stepped in and prayed for and then stepped out and released are the same things that people who visit my home and property will list out and say they feel when they are here. They have no idea that I asked for my property to be blessed with these things but they experience them and so does my family.

I have placed a beautiful Mezuzah on the lintel post of my door not because I am Jewish but because the scriptures say to do so.   I picked a really beautiful one so that it catches my attention and reminds me. It is there for me to be reminded to go into the kingdom and come out with blessings for my home as I step through the door of my home.  I don't believe we should be "religious" or motivated by law but I do believe there are keys in scripture that when applied properly with right heart intent will help us walk in His ways and change everything in Heavenly ways for the better of everyone and every place on Earth. 

I do plan to get to the actual physical parts of making your home beautiful on a budget which includes color, texture, furniture, accessories, etc but understand that everything in life needs to be done properly, in order, with the right foundation to achieve the best outcome.  Get the spiritual part right and the rest will be as easy to achieve as sliding through warm butter.  

If you liked this post you may also like:  Lakehouse Entryway 

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Hope Is A Beautiful Thing

Help int the battle against mesothelioma: Hope is a beautiful thing

I would like you to meet Heather Von St. James.  She is a survivor of a rare cancer called mesothelioma.  I thought you might be inspired by her story:

My name is Heather Von St. James.  I am a mother, a sister, a wife, and an 11 year survivor to the rare cancer mesothelioma.  I am married to the love of my life, Cams and we have a beautiful daughter, Lily and this is my story.

Lily was born in 2005.  Just three and a half months after our baby girl joined our family I started experiencing my symptoms.  At the time, it was very easy to convince myself that my symptoms were merely signs of postpartum.  After all, I had just given birth.  During my pregnancy I didn’t gain very much weight.  So, when I began to lose an unexplainable amount of weight I started think something might be off.  Not to mention, I was so tired, all the time. I never seemed to be able to shake my exhaustion.   To top it off, I had a persistent low-grade fever that would plague me each night.  Each and every one of my symptoms alone never seemed too serious.  Until it happened.  I remember putting Lily in her swing and passing out for over an hour and a half.  When I woke up I thought there’s no way this can be right.  Like anyone new mother feeling that way I headed to the doctor.

Never, in all of my life, could I have ever imagined that these things that were happening to me could be the result of something so awful.  On November 21, 2005 I was officially diagnosed - it was cancer.  I remember that's all I could hear, cancer.  I was given 15 months to live with a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.  The average age for a mesothelioma diagnosis is 75 for males and 72 for females.  But here I was, a brand new mother and it was happening to me.

Mesothelioma clearly does not discriminate.  It is caused by exposure to asbestos and is typically found in a person’s lungs or abdomen. It’s a unique and extremely threatening cancer because it has a very long latency period.  It can take years after exposure to present any real symptoms.  After taking some time to determine when, where and how I was exposed it dawned on me.  When I was little I would play in my father’s jacket after he got home from his job in construction.  All I remember was it being one of the warmest things ever. It hung right in the entryway of our house and it was always my go-to when I went outside because it meant I wouldn’t get my coat dirty.  Sure, it was always dusty but he worked in construction -why wouldn’t it be?  I never thought twice about that.   Little did I know his jacket was covered in asbestos fibers.

On February 2, 2006 my left lung, one of my ribs, half of my diaphragm and some of the lining of my heart/lung were removed. This experimental procedure, coupled with radiation and chemotherapy, were by best shot at being able to spend more than 15 months with my baby girl.   I spent weeks in the hospital and then recovered with my parents in South Dakota accompanied by Lily. It was a very long road to recovery.  Cam could only see us here and there. It was an incredibly tough time for my family and me.

One of the biggest things we had to learn was what our new normal was.  I now stayed home with Lily while Cam went back to school and furthered his career so he could support us. I was no longer contributing to our household financially as I had in the past, my career that I had worked for so many years towards was now gone.

After a while I learned about mesothelioma awareness conventions and events and different groups that existed in the mesothelioma community.  I am thankful for these causes everyday because I realized I was not alone in this fight.  I learned that I could help people.  It is not only rare to survive this disease but, it is very rare to survive this disease by 11 years. I learned to share my story and connect with people affected by mesothelioma because I could provide them something that is exceedingly scarce in our community, hope.  Doctors, statistics, and numbers offer meso patients grim prognoses.  My story offers them a reprieve to that reality.  This along with blogging for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance has become my passion and a huge part of my life.  I want to spread hope to as many people as I can.  When there is nowhere else to look, the hope that there is someone, anyone who has beaten this cancer and continues to beat it everyday is what most people need.

I have dedicated my life to mesothelioma advocacy so it didn’t take me long to start working toward monetarily benefiting the Meso community through what I call: Lung Leavin’ Day.  Ten years ago my sister and my husband decided to turn the anniversary of the day my lung was removed into a celebration.  Lung Leavin' Day that would take place each year on the anniversary of my surgery.  My sister came up with “Lung Leavin’ Day” and it’s sort of just stuck ever since. This celebration started as me and my family and few close friends shivering around a campfire. It has since grown to a huge gathering of people in person and online that supports several different foundations and organizations in the mesothelioma community.

To date we’ve raised over $30,000 for The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. This celebration has become so much more than me and my family surrounding that campfire. Each year, like the ten before, we each write our deepest fears on a dinner plate with a sharpie and smash the plates into a campfire.  It might sound silly, but it is one of the most cathartic experiences I have come across. To be able to outwardly express your fear and then symbolically and quite literally smash it – is absolutely invigorating.  Each year we try to involve as many people as we can in the celebration.  It’s no longer about me, my lungs or even just mesothelioma. It’s about people relying on their community, addressing their fears, smashing them and, healing while doing so.

After my diagnosis you could not have told me I would be where I am today, but here I am.  I made the decision that I was going to do whatever it took to raise my baby girl, I was going to fight.  15 months was not enough for me.  Along the way I learned that I have more to offer the world than I could have ever imagined.  I can offer hope and strength and most importantly, I can help.


Heather has a very powerful story, If you would like to help in the fight against mesothelioma or find hope in your own battle, click the links above and they will take you to websites where you can donate or volunteer in the battle against the cancer called mesothelioma.

* This is not a paid post. No compensation was received for this post.

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What To Do When You Think Your Facebook Is Hacked

What to do if your facebook is hacked
If you spend any amount of time on facebook then you have probably seen when a friend has been "hacked" on their facebook account.  What they usually mean is someone has created a fake account that looks identical and is trying to friend all their friends.  As someone who has truly experienced being hacked, this is not being hacked, this is being impersonated.  I would like to explain the difference and what to do about each if it happens along with some other misnomers and some preventative tips.

When someone creates an identical facebook page to yours it does not mean you are hacked.  It means that someone with wrong intentions has access to your photos and/or personal information and you probably gave it to them.  They usually create identical profiles and try to friend your friends for one of two reasons.  They are in sales and figure that your friends will be more likely to purchase things from "you"  or they want to scam your friends out of money pretending to be you.  

If you are being impersonated then it is probably by someone who has access to your information on facebook.  It can be a random person who friended you, another impersonated account you are friends with or you are showing too much info on your facebook account.  If someone impersonates you then your friends will likely let you know about it.  If it happens just simply report it to facebook.  They will probably not let you know much but they usually quietly take care of the impersonated account.  It is also a good idea to change your profile picture to something updated, change your password and let your friends know in a post that someone is impersonating you. 

To prevent impersonation from happening you can manage the settings on your facebook account.  The first thing to do is keep your friends list private.  You can do this by clicking on your name in the blue bar.  Next scroll down to friends section.  Click on little arrow to the right side of friends box.  Click "Edit Privacy".  Where it asks who can see your friends list click "friends" or "only me".  Click "done". If you choose "friends" then be aware that any random people who you friend will have access to this information but it will give you an idea who may be impersonating (someone on your friend list).  

One more little change can help with impersonation problems.  Click on Arrow in blue bar.  Click "settings".  Click "Public Posts" (left column).  To the right of Who Can Follow Me, Click on little world.  Change to Friends. This eliminates complete strangers from seeing your posts without adding you as their friend.

Being hacked means they have access to your account and they can change your password and then  have full control of your facebook account.  This is a different monster all the way around.  Many times people will have someone posting spam or smut on their facebook page that they can't even see the posts themselves but it is posted in their name for all their friends to see.  This may or may not mean they have been hacked.  Usually not and I will explain how and why.

Remember those quizzes on facebook?  You know those that supposedly tell you something about yourself if you take it?   Some of those quizzes and other apps you click on while scrolling through facebook will ask for permission to post the results on your facebook page and many times we click right through these permissions without thinking.  We do it on apps on our phones and computers and on facebook because apps have become a way of life and who wants to spend the time reading all those permissions when we can move on to the good stuff with just a click.  That is how you probably gave access to the spammers.  They haven't truly hacked you in this case, they just have permission to post things to your account and that one thoughtless click of yours gave them access.  

Because we often give permissions this way it is a good idea to review your permissions often and delete any that we don't know or remember.  You can do this by clicking on the little arrow in the blue bar (to the right side).  Click "Settings".  Click "Apps"(left column).  A list of all apps with permissions on your facebook will pop up.  Click "Show All".  If you don't remember or know an app then remove their permission by clicking "X" when you hover over the app with your mouse.  You can also edit permissions on apps by clicking on the little pencil.  You can also scroll down and click "Apps Others Use" and change the information on your profile available to the apps that your friends or others use. Simply uncheck any boxes you don't want them to access and then click "save".  Remember to go back and take away permission from any questionable app or quiz immediately after using any and that will help keep your account secure.  

If your account is actually hacked by someone where they have complete access and control and can even change your password then you will need to get into your facebook account as soon as possible and change the password.  If they have already locked you out then you will need to contact facebook.  There are some safety measures that you can have in place that will help if someone actually hacks into your account. Click on arrow on right side of blue bar.  Click "Settings".  Next click "Security" (left Column).  Click on each of these items and review them.  Change anything you desire to improve your security and alert you in event of a breach.  DO NOT DEACTIVATE your account!  This will make it go away (Unless you want it to go away)!  You can also click "Mobile" from list on left and review these as well.  It is actually a great idea to review all the items in the list to the left and make sure that every setting is as you desire. You might be surprised how many settings you can personalize. 

If your facebook account was compromised and actually hacked then it is a really good idea to make sure that your other social media accounts are secure as well as your email.  Many times our social media was compromised because we inadvertently clicked a link in our email that gave crooks access to our email.  It is so quick too.  This happened to me once.  

I was checking email on my phone and clicked a link in an email without thinking (Don't do this! Go to the website from an app or browser instead!!!) It immediately took me to a page that was African in origin and then went black.  The link gave the crooks access to my email.  They immediately changed my email password to lock me out and even accessed and changed my backup email account!  Because, I did not have the proper safeguards, they had possibility of access to my bank accounts, social media, website, etc.  

It was a pretty horrendous day.  The first email account was with a little known company and I lost that email account completely and it took the company weeks to even get it shut down (no more accounts with them!)   I was quickly able to get back control of my Gmail because I did have safeguards in place there (a text message when password is changed and because I use Google chrome they ask me if access was ok when I log on the net again in Chrome).  I spent the day systematically going to every online account (Thank God, I had them listed in a book).  I changed passwords and log in information.  Some had to be called on the phone to take care of.  It took about 2 days to get everything safe again. 

 It was hard but it was possible, so if the worst happens to you just act quickly. Take care of the most important accounts first such as anything tied to your money.  Next work in order of importance from there until everything is safe again.  Also, it is a good idea to have all your accounts, numbers, log in info, passwords and any other pertinent information listed in a book.  An address book will work for this or any smallish notebook, or spiral bound will work.  Be sure to keep this book in a safe location.

If possible it is a good idea to access from a different device than what you clicked the link (Just in case it gave the hacker access to see everything you type in that device).  It happened on my phone so, they didn't have access to that but I did switch to my laptop to change my information just in case.  
Hopefully, you will never have a hacker but now you will know what to do and you have some tips for preventing it.

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Lakehouse Update: Exterior Before & After

There has been lots happening at the lakehouse lately.  So much so that between that, my garden, my Gigi duties, and just life in general, I haven't been posting as often as I usually like to here at Texasdaisey Creations.  Hopefully I can remedy that soon.

In the meantime, here is an update on the happenings at our little lakehouse.

Many of you will remember that this is where we started on our little jewel.  It was looking a bit ummmmmmm rough.  We actually had people who thought we had lost our minds when they first saw it.  

This was my first view.  I remember thinking "please let it not be the one with the red roof!"  But then I saw the front of it and looked deeper at the bones.  She had good bones.  We purchased her and we had her eaves closed in properly.

We decided to paint her and took a wrong turn on color with the first coat...I mixed in some creamy white and voila it became more what I had in my head.  A bit Bahama Mama!

We were headed down the right road now!  Things were beginning to look alot better.  

The new paint job made me smile!  I loved how she looked and was looking forward to all the many changes that were to come. (one which would include painting the roof).  

After only a few short months (not even a year), this is what her paint began to do...we were so disappointed!  We knew that new siding would have to come much sooner than we had hoped.  Even that timetable was propelled forward when we tore out the bathroom and discovered huge cracks in the siding.  

We had already changed out all the doors because we thought our cabin was being flooded that way every time it rained.  The doors were only part of the problem.  The siding was part of the problem too.

After much research and seeking of opinions, we decided that Hardie board was the way for us.  We decided that we needed to move our air conditioners to their new spots and add our new windows at this time.  We then added a new wider trim around the doors and windows.

We also closed in the larger window on the front of the house.  This would usually never be an option for me because I love windows but this one allowed so much heat into the house along with an ugly view, not to mention the neighbor's yard light shining in at night.  This is also where we will possibly add on to the house in future if we end up go forward with those plans.

Every detail added and changed was beginning to add up and make my pretty vision come into being.  This is about the time we began to get several weeks of rain.  Inches and inches of rain!  I wanted to paint!  I was not going to pray for that rain to leave though...especially after that 5 year drought.   Finally the sun came out again.

We decided we might as well go all in and get the electric upgraded too so we could cover the needed manhole in the side over with the new siding.  It is funny how one step can add so many other expensive steps before it is all over...lol.  Next came paint again.  this time, I knew exactly what shade would be perfect.  

Our little lakehouse is becoming beautiful!  Oh how she makes me smile!  My husband named her Rocky Point.  I added Cottage to her name.  Rocky Point Cottage.  Everything about her makes me smile...especially the peace that we feel as soon as we get near.

Oh how she makes me smile now!  She is becoming a shining jewel and I can't wait to show you all the things that are changing inside too.  Soon she will have some beautiful jewelry to wear that will give her that finished look along with a little sparkle.  In the meantime:

Check out the updates that I have already shared about our Lakehouse
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Lakehouse Update: White To Bright

Take your Door from blah to Great Lakehouse update:  White to Bright...make your door look great!

Do you always take the advice of your friends and family?  Many times I will but then there are those other times when "they" are just wrong!  Sometimes if we always follow what the crowd does we might miss out on something really great.

Take your door from blah to great Lakehouse update:  White to Bright...make your door look great! 1

I have been very busy lately finishing many projects at our little lakehouse.  Sometimes I will have an attack of "I'm not sure" on a decorating project and will then ask the advice of my family and friends.  Usually they can help me make the right decision with their excellent advice but this time the advice just didn't sit well with me.  Everyone thought I should leave the kitchen door white (I wonder if it was because we got a new door and that made everyone reluctant to paint it?).  I tried to take their advice...really, I did! 

Take your door from blah to great Lakehouse update:  White to Bright...make your door look great! 2

I was busy painting the other day and I kept looking at that white door.  It just looked...blah.  I decided to jazz it up with some turquoise.  This time, everyone was wrong.  That door went from white to bright.   Now look how great that door looks!
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How To Make a Capiz Shell Chandelier Without Breaking The Bank

DIY a capiz shell chandelier on a budget
I decided that my beachy themed lakehouse would not be complete without a capiz chandelier but when I began to price them I got sticker shock.  They started out about $150 and went up...way up.  Being the thrifty gal that I am, I decided I could do better.
DIY a capiz shell chandelier on a budget 1
I found a capiz shell mobile on sale for about $45.  I was thrilled.  It did not have a light but that could be added.  I then purchased a hanging swag kit and a lamp repair kit.  Each of those were about $8 each.  Everything I needed for a beautiful swag chandelier for less than $60.  That is a bargain.
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 I fed the cord that came with the swag kit through the chain.  I then strung the bottom of the lamp kit onto the end without the plug.  I tied an underwriter's (electrician's) knot.
DIY a capiz shell chandelier on a budget 3
 Next I loosened both the silver and brass screws on the switch part.  I bent the wire ends around the base of each screw.
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 It doesn't matter which end goes on which screw.  I tightened the screws so that the ends were fastened well and would not pull away.
DIY a capiz shell chandelier on a budget 5
Next, I tucked the knot up into the bottom of the lamp kit and tucked the cover over the switch part.  Then I attached the two together.  It should snap together.
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Make sure you have enough cord to allow the light to hang down in the middle of the shells when hanging.  It took a bit of adjusting to get it just right.  I secured the chain to the hook at the top of the capiz shell mobile and allowed the light to hang free.  I then hung the entire thing from a hook in the ceiling on a hook with a molly bolt.  I added a second hook closer to the wall.  I plugged the light in and it worked!
DIY a capiz shell chandelier on a budget 7
 When I unwrapped the capiz shells, I realized they hung much longer than I really wanted them to so I used a hot glue gun and folded the long layer up into the length I desired.  I glued the end capiz shell to another one up inside the mobile.  My husband added another switch on the cord for me so that I could turn it off and on easier.
DIY a capiz shell chandelier on a budget 8
I am thrilled with how it turned out.  If you wanted to make a true chandelier that attaches directly to the ceiling You could easily purchase a kit for that.  There are all sorts of reasonably priced kits and parts for sale at lumber and hardware stores or even online. There are also lots of tutorials online that will show you how to wire any kind of light or lamp.  Go ahead!  Give it a try.  You can do it.

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Gigi Problems

Gigi problems...the great purple marker debacle

I have been keeping my granddaughter, Zerah, at least 2 days a week since she was 5 weeks old. It has been pure joy for the most part but there have also been those other days.  This past week she discovered a purple magic marker (I have no idea where)   Anyway...you can see part of the damage in this pic.  There was also "artwork" on the wall and a couple pieces of furniture.
Gigi problems such as what kids really do when you aren't looking

 Zerah loves playing with Gigi's phone.  I try to limit how much screen time she has so I encourage her to be a photographer.  Apparently she is quite the photographer because she captures images that I have no idea about.  It is always interesting to see what pics she took after she leaves.  I have been blissfully believing that she never touches my things on the fireplace.  Boy was I wrong as I discovered with this picture. Lol.

Gigi problems. What? she got my phone...did she text someone or what?

 Not all of her pictures capture something naughty.  Sometimes it just captures her perspective.  I find it pretty interesting.  Who else but Zerah would take this photo?  I was so glad when she wanted to get in the cart. I had no idea she had my phone out of my purse at this point. Lol.

Gigi problems like is she a great photographer or what?

 In this photo, she is laying under my coffee table with her feet up on the couch.  I thought she was playing a game on my phone.  I'm not complaining because I think we may have a budding photographer in our midst and that thrills me even if she does capture a few odd photos.

Gigi problems like we don't need to be dressed in the garden do we?

 Art isn't the only thing we have to be concerned about at Gigi's house.  On this day, Zerah didn't want to be completely dressed.  In this photo she is wearing a shirt, pullups, and her garden boots.  I did try to dress her properly but Zerah had other ideas.  That is OK though because Gigi, figures that there are other battles to fight and this one wasn't it.  It wasn't so bad since we were just in the backyard and it is Gigi's house after all.

Gigi Problems...Surprise!...more purple marker debacle!

A couple days after Zerah was gone, Gigi found this.  It was some more artwork that Gigi had somehow missed in the purple marker debacle.  I got most of it cleaned off but not all of it.  I guess Gigi needs to paint the cabinets in the 2nd bathroom now (sigh).  Now, I am wondering what other surprises Gigi has from Z.

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Secret Designer Tips On How To Decorate Coastal Style On A Budget

Secret Designer Tips on How to decorate coastal style on a budget and still give it glam.

Coastal Retreat 

I have always dreamed of having a beach house in Florida or somewhere.  I often dream of how I would decorate that beach house to make it beautiful and relaxing.   I am decorating our little lakehouse with a coastal style and have gained some insight about the best way to make it a place of coastal serenity, peace, and a bit of glam while staying in budget.

In the style board above you can get a bit of insight into the way I am decorating in the coastal style.  I am using a palette that includes blue, aqua, turquoise, and green along with brown to give it a bit of warmth.  All of this on a white background gives this room a soothing palette that speaks serenity, peace and relaxation.

My inspiration for this color palette comes directly from the painting in the upper right corner.  Using artwork or a multicolored patterned fabric is a great way to find the color palette for a room (1st secret designer tip).  After I decide on my palette, I like to go to the paint store and collect paint chips with my colors on them.  I find paint chips that have several shades of the same color on them.  Every one of these shades will work in my room and all those shades only count as one color on your palette (that is another secret designer tip).  I carry these paint chips in my purse for when I am out shopping (Tip #3).

A secret designer tip to stay in budget is to shop online, in magazines, books, or anywhere for the things you would love to decorate with.  Take a photo or email the link of the items to yourself  to carry on your phone.  Then, when you are out shopping thrift shops, tag sales, discount stores, or wherever, you can look for similar items that cost much less.

I like to pair unexpected things together when I decorate.  One way I do that is by pairing the smooth white leather sofa with the  texture of the white wicker chair.  Another way is to use natural items such as baskets, shells and wood flooring with the smooth sparkle of glass.  This gives the casual relaxed room just a bit of glam and sparkle.

Last, I add personality to my coastal styled room with accessories.  These accessories take the form of seashells, glass bottles, baskets, pillows, lighting and plants.  I use accessories that fit the color palette and many even have the coastal theme.
Whether you have a beautiful Florida coast home or not you can stay in budget and still give any home coastal style using these tips.

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Check out some of Douglas Elliman's Florida Real Estate for your own inspiration!

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Why Am I Keeping That?

Why am I keeping that?  (Am a hoarder in the making or is it something else?)
Do you ever find yourself keeping things that do not make sense?  Things that don't really have an emotional value and certainly not much monetary value.  I found this spoon rest in my drawer.  Why am I keeping that?  Why did I actually use valuable storage space to keep it?  Why did I have to think about it before I tossed it into the trash?

It isn't like I can't afford another, not that I even need another one.  There are at least 4 or 5 more in the house (but not with cherries like those!).  So, what is the deal?

When, I asked myself these questions the first thing that popped into my head is, "well there might be hard times ahead."  What?  So a broken spoon rest is going to help that?  Lol.  I am really not crazy y'all.  I promise.

I did something freeing today.  I tossed that broken spoon rest into the trash and I felt lighter.  Maybe, I need to go through my cupboards and closets and drawers and garages, etc and do some more throwing away.  Apparently, I keep some things without reason or at least any reason that makes good sense.  That snuck up on me for sure!

I have always had some things I am not using and no apparent plan to use but those are things I describe as the Johanna Gains kind of keeping (not hoarding).  One never knows when one will want to decorate somewhere with it, but apparently there are also those broken spoon rest kind of things too.  Those broken spoon rests need to go.

Now, I just need the energy and motivation to tackle that job...lol (big sigh).
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Let's Talk Fonts

Let's Talk Fonts.  Where to get them and How to install them on your PC
I really really like fonts!  I like fonts so much that I have actually spent money buying fonts.  What are fonts?  Fonts are the  styled characters that are typed out when you type on your computer keyboard. (This one is Georgia).  Fonts come in many many different styles and types and they are great to have if you do scrapbooking or design work, especially graphic design or web design.  They are also great for those who just like to be creative with fonts on their posters, cards, etc.

There are some really great websites where you can download fonts.  Many of these websites will  even offer free font downloads.  Be sure to read the  license of use for each font you download.  You can find tons of font places from Pinterest.  I have a Pinterest board where I have saved some of my favorite font blog posts that lead to font websites where you can download some too.  Here is my Pinterest board for fonts.

If you decide to download some fonts be sure to check out their terms of use.  Some fonts require payment before you can download them.  Others require payment or a donation under certain circumstances such as for commercial use.  Other fonts are completely free to use for anything anytime, anywhere.  Many of these websites operate under the honor system.  I stay on the proper side of the law and the honor system concerning fonts, pictures and anything else I download.  This saves any embarrassment and/or lawsuit issues.  Believe me they can track you down if you don't (besides it just isn't cool to steal or cheat).

Once downloaded your fonts need to be installed on your PC before you can use them:
  1.  Find the downloaded file and click on it twice.
  2. Click Extract File Button (located at top of opened file)
  3. Open extracted file (If it doesn't open automatically)
  4. Click Install Button (located at top of opened file)
Your new font is installed and ready to use.

Come back next Thursday and learn how to create your very own font   and install it on your PC (Trust me it's super easy!).

You Might Like To Check out:

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Stop! Don't Upgrade To Windows 10!

Stop! Don't upgrade to Windows 10.  Here are 12 reasons why!

Have you been getting the offer for a "free" upgrade to Windows 10?  Stop!  Don't upgrade to Windows 10!  It won't be an upgrade!  It is a downgrade!  I know, it may even be too late.  Oh how, I wish I had this warning before I did it and more than 30 days have passed so that I can not go back to my old system.  (Sure, now I figure out I only had 30 days to decide...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr).  I  waited, I researched and I read all the reviews and they all seemed to be good overall for Windows 10 which now makes me wonder about the reviewers and their blogs.  Yes, it does seem to be a bit faster especially when first opened but I don't think it makes up for the obvious faults that seem to be skimmed past  or ignored in all the reviews.

I added Windows 10 to my old laptop, and it is on my new laptop and now, I don't know what I am going to do and I am really not happy with Microsoft right now.  I know, they are the big guy and I am just the Don Quixote tilting at windmills in this story but someone somewhere has to start being truthful. Microsoft's Windows 10 is absolutely substandard in my opinion.  Why do I call it substandard?  Here are my reasons:

  1. I can not connect my camera to my system and easily load my pictures up onto my computer now.  I had to spend hours finding a work around way that takes forever to get my photos off.  
  2. My Compact Disc reader wouldn't work either!  Come on Windows!  People want to use their computers for the things they have always used them for like pictures.  I ended up having to buy a new disc reader when the old one was not that old....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
  3.   I have a lot (and I mean a lot!) of CD's that I can not access the files on because Windows 10 rendered my system unable to open them .  Precious photos are on those CDs and my system and CD disc drive that worked perfectly before windows 10 is now rendered useless; so here I am spending hours online trying to figure out a way to access those so that I can get them uploaded to my cloud....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
  4. Windows 10 forces you to have a password to get into your own computer.  Come on!  I don't want to type a password every single time I get onto my own darn computer!  That is fine if I have secrets to keep from others but their should be a way to turn this off.  (I believe this is part of how Microsoft is monitoring our activities, by the way, along with the keylogger  they installed (it logs every key you strike) because you are actually having to sign into Microsoft every time you log onto your computer.) I found a work around for the so called "upgraded" laptop password to be turned off but so far nothing that actually works for the new laptop.
  5. Windows 10 gives Microsoft access to your computer even when you are not online with the keylogger software.  This means they are probably monitoring your activity on your computer all the time you are on it (and who knows, maybe when you aren't on it either!).  No, I am not doing anything wrong or even embarrassing on my computer but I don't like the fact that someone is looking over my shoulder all the time on my computer and even possibly accessing my camera.  How far will they go?  I don't think they have a line they won't cross.  What if they don't like what I write on my blog or decide they don't like my religion or race or whatever?
  6. Windows 10 forces you to update whether they are good updates or not.  There is no avoiding it.  If you don't accept when given reminders then guess what?  You wake up one morning and it has been done without your permission (yes, this happened to me).  What happened to living in America the land of the free?  Apparently Microsoft wants to end that. They also like to change your settings back to their own idea of what they think should be even when you had it like you wanted. (No warning is given either!)
  7. Mandatory driver updates that can break some systems.  No choices, no way to stop it...I am wondering if this is a way to sell more computers.  
  8. Cortana is just downright creepy!  It is supposed to be a takeoff version of Siri only on your desktop.  I'm sorry but I don't like it and I don't want it.  I am not driving when I am on my laptop and although I can think of maybe a few times it would be handy to have it search for me,..mostly, I just want it off my computer or at least a way to disengage it completely and trust that another update won't just turn it on again (yep, I tried checking the box that said I didn't want it)  It is at least silent now but still there.
  9. Windows has no tech support to speak of.  Have you ever gone to the Microsoft website seeking a way to fix something?  Guess what, you are left with a message board where people can make suggestions of how to fix your problem.  Some work and some are bust.  I wonder if this company believes they are too busy to help the little people who made them big with tech problems on their product.  Are they willing to fix these problems?  Will they?  Do they even need to?  They seem to have a monopoly on operating systems or at least on getting them installed into any well known computers.  Why is this?    
  10. Windows 10 adds a big square box full of their own advertising on your desktop (it is supposed to be a way to their store).  Sorry, but last time I checked I can get there very easily on my own without a huge box on my desktop reminding me all the time. So far, I haven't figured out how to get rid of this either.  
  11. It is not easy to navigate.  Everything is different.  I am pretty good with finding things on my computer,  I learn new things easily. I have taught myself how to code my blog and I love new tech so explain to me why it is so difficult for me to figure out where things are on the new Windows 10 even after several months of using it?  
  12. Some apps that were there in my system before are completely gone now.  I used some of those things. If you have more than a set number of items then you can't find them or even search them in your start menu...now you have to add a desktop app.  
I could probably go on and on and on with all the negative things about this operating system that does not operate very well but I think you have the picture now of just how frustrated I am with it.  I am even more frustrated by the fact that all the big tech blogs seemed to jump on board the Windows 10 train with positive reviews and now; I don't trust them anymore.  I am not usually a negative blog person but someone has to tell the truth and so, here I am!  Microsoft Windows 10, in my books you get a big fat Texas fail!

Understand that I believe in grace.  I believe in forgiveness.  I believe in second chances and even 150th chances.  Microsoft, I am willing to forgive you and allow you the chance to fix these things.  I am waiting and I am sure there are others out there waiting for you to fix these problems.  
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